Gaining Ground: Evenkis, Land and Reform in Southeastern Siberia / Edition 1

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For indigenous people, land is a critical determinant to cultural survival. the indigenous people of the Russian North currently struggle to gain greater control over their homelands against a backdrop of state reforms regarding land privatization, political devolution and the renegotiation of state-aboriginal relations. This book recounts the experiences of one group, the Evenkis of Transbaykalia (southeastern Siberia) in implementing indigenous land reform in the Russian Federation.KEY TOPICS: After examining "traditional" Evanki land tenure practice, this book recounts the dispossession of land from the Evenkis of Transbaykalia during the Tsarist and Soviet periods. It then looks at the successes and obstacles that Evanki villagers identify in their recent efforts to reassert control over their native land. Based on fieldwork over the course of three years, the book incorporates the views of numerous Evenki individuals on a "land claims" process which has endangered both optimism and frustration.

Anthropologists and Sociologists. Part of the Cultural Survival Studies in Ethnicity and Change Series.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Series.


1.Land, Resources, and Cultural Survival.

The Importance of Land.

Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North.

The Evenkis of Northern Transbaykalia: A Case Study.

Fieldwork: “Ground-Truthing” Evenki Land Tenure.

2.Evenki Land Use and Land Tenure.

Life in Northern Transbaykalia: Changing Geographic and Social Relations.

Evenki Herding and Hunting in Northern Transbaykalia.

Evenki Land Tenure.

3.Losing Control: Alienation of Evenki Land During the Tsarist Era.

State Policy Toward Indigenous Peoples.

Incursions on Evenki Homelands.

Modifications of Evenki Land Tenure.

4.Evenki Land Use Reconstructed: The Soviet Era.

“Equal but Unenlightened:” Early Soviet Policy Toward Indigenous Northerners.

Establishing Native Territories: The Myth of the Homelands.

Collectivization Contra Collective Access.

Sedentarization and Resettlement.

Socialist Land Enclosure.

Industrial Development and Environmental Degradation.

5.Collapse of Union, Ascent of Indigenous Rights.

Perestroyka and Indigenous Agendas for Reform.

Russian Land Reform and Aboriginal Rights.

Land Claims in Siberia: Various Approaches.

6.Obshchina Lands: Progress and Pitfalls.

Obtaining Obshchina Lands: Procedures in Northern Transbaykalia.

Reforms Deformed: Obstacles to Land Claims.


7.Gaining Ground? First Steps and Future Needs.

Other Approaches to Evenki Land Rights.

Traditional Activities, Land, and the Next Generation.

Evenki Goals for Indigenous Land Reform: Partial Fulfillment.

Balancing Competing Agendas.

Glossary of Russian and Evenki Terms.



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